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Letters to the Editor: Dec. 2, 2015

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Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to jchancellor@okgazette.com or sent online at okgazette.com. Include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

Victims matter

As the trial of former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw continues, many in our community have started to gather outside the courthouse during each hearing to offer support to the accusers. I wanted to take this opportunity to bring attention to the important issues these demonstrators have raised.

The fact that every one of the 13 alleged victims is a black woman from our community, while the jury is entirely white and mostly male, raises legitimate concerns about fairness in our justice system. Too many in our community feel marginalized and excluded from the systems that are supposed to protect us.

This theme came up again and again in accusers’ testimonies. Many of these women have criminal records, having used drugs or worked as prostitutes in the past, and claim that they did not come forward with information until now out of fear that nobody would believe them. They claim that they were targeted in the first place because they would be viewed as unreliable, even disposable. After taking the stand, many of these women found their character under attack.

That’s why I believe these protests are so important. All black women matter. Nobody should feel like society does not support or value them.

— Chris Harrison, Millwood Public School Board of Education president and candidate for House District 97 Oklahoma City

Green penalties?

At a time when scientists and even politicians (although not those from Oklahoma) believe that humanity is making the largest impact on climate change, here we have a corporation — OG&E — that wishes to be a monopoly in providing electricity using mostly fossil fuels. We live in a state with abundant wind and sun; both are renewable sources of energy, and apparently, homeowners and business owners who wish to invest in such energy may receive a penalty tariff if OG&E gets its way with the Corporation Commission.

In a time when our state is facing financial crisis after crisis, it would seem investing in renewable energy will save taxpayer money in the long run. More money in a taxpayer’s pocket means more spending, and that is what helps our economy grow. Our state should be the first state to launch investments in renewable sources of energy, not the last.

Let’s gain national recognition for our willingness to embrace technologies that can help us be independent from the oil and gas special interests. I say no to a proposed tariff OG&E wants the Corporation Commission to levy penalties on homeowners and business owners wishing to invest in renewable sources of energy.

— Susan Bishop Edmond

Reject tariff

I am against the tariffs OG&E wants to charge residential and business customers who create electricity with solar or wind.

These rates are discriminatory and punitive. The “demand” charge would mean that a customer’s bill would be based on the moment of highest usage within a month, no matter how much energy is used.

No other investor-owned utility in the U.S. has been allowed to charge residential customers in this way. The Corporation Commission must protect customers from such an outrageous and unfair charge.

At a time when our planet is warming to disastrous effect, we must not prevent the development of renewable sources of energy. These OG&E rates would kill economic growth in solar and wind installation and the local jobs associated with it.

Citizens, churches, schools and businesses have made private investments in solar and wind, and the proposed tariffs would dramatically reduce the return on those investments.

OG&E customers already pay a basic fee for connection to the grid. Citizens and businesses producing energy from solar and wind will actually be giving energy to OG&E. To add charges is punitive and meant to discourage the development of renewable energy, which we must do to save life on the planet.

I urge the Corporation Commission to reject OG&E’s requested tariffs.

— Pat Hoerth Oklahoma City

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